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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 30, 2009

Isle architect George Hogan, 95

By Suzanne Roig
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

George Hogan

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The next time you look at Hamilton Library at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa, remember that it was designed by Honolulu architect George Hogan.

The library and other buildings around town and on Maui are Hogan's legacy of design that spans more than 50 years. Retiring 22 years ago from architecture, Hogan was 95 when he died May 7.

Some of the projects he designed over the years include homes in Kailua's Dune Circle, Kahala, Diamond Head, Nu'uanu and high rise buildings like the Mott-Smith Laniloa condominium in Makiki. Real estate agents say a Hogan-designed home is in the same class as an Ossipoff home, a noted architect from the start of the 20th century in Hawai'i.

"His buildings have classic lines that use indoor-outdoor designs," said Margie Grosswendt, a real estate agent for 32 years. "His ceilings are lovely. When you see a Hogan house, you know it. There's a simplicity to a Hogan house."

Hogan was born and raised in Honolulu. He grew up in Kaimuki and graduated from McKinley High School in 1930. During World War II, he went to work for Hawaiian Dredging and later for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Iwo Jima and Saipan.

After the war, he returned home and set up his career as an architect, designing schools, the PanAm building on Kapi'olani Boulevard, several buildings at UH and hotels. He retired in 1979, but returned to work in 1981 until he formally retired in 1987.

Throughout his commercial architectural career, Hogan designed several custom homes, many of which are still standing.

"The thing he'll most be remembered for are the homes he built," said his son, Jonathan Hogan. "His legacy are his custom homes. They have an amazing balance between indoor and outdoor living."

When Anne Hogan Perry, one of Hogan's nieces, held an open house at one of the homes her uncle designed, some people came in the off chance they could meet him.

"I've sold a lot of his homes," Perry said. "He has a following. I have people who call me who ask me if they can talk to him."

Each of his homes was unique. There's one in Nu'uanu that has a drainage system from natural springs incorporated into the design of the house. But all of them have his signature roof designs and ceiling detail that reflect an Asian influence.

"It's fun to sell his homes even now," Perry said. "The design work is phenomenal. The attention to living space and functionality makes them livable."

Hogan is survived by his sons, Vincent, Timothy and Jonathan. Services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday at the Windward United Church of Christ, Kailua, 38 Kane'ohe Bay Drive.